Deena Nicole Cortese Talks Motherhood & Documenting Her Pregnancy on ‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’

Deena Nicole Cortese attends the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

It has been a busy few months for Deena Nicole Cortese as the Jersey Shore star gave birth to her son Christopher John “CJ” Buckner. Viewers have been able to follow the first-time mom’s pregnancy on Jersey Shore: Family Vacation

The environment was far from glamorous when she joins the rest of the cast on trip enjoying the great outdoors for Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino, who just received his prison sentence. Cortese took a break from caring for her little meatball to reflect on the experience and explain a heated moment with Angelina Pivarnick

The roommates went above and beyond to make you feel comfortable, but was there any hesitation to sign on to film the series knowing you had baby on board?
Deena Nicole Cortese: Definitely. That’s why I only did what I felt comfortable with. That’s why I didn’t go to Vegas. The house that we had lived in while shooting in Jersey was 10 minutes from my house. I didn’t stay the entire time. The production and MTV were super cool with me doing what I felt comfortable with. They didn’t force me to do anything I didn’t want to do.

When you compare when audiences were first introduced to you and the rest of the cast to now, there are a different set of issues that come up older. How has it been to show this next phase of your life?
I love it because they grew up with us in age. As their growing, they are watching us grow as well. I like it because they watched us when we were single. I started when I was 22 years old. Now I’m 32 years old. Anybody that’s watching knows from 22 to 32 your life changes completely. It’s kind of nice they get to see us now with kids and families, but we still know how to have a good time. And that is what life is all about. 

Your roommates are going through a lot of challenges this season between Mike’s sentencing and Jenni’s divorce. It seems the group has become closer as a result.
One thing that came out of the show was friendship and family. I’m just happy we are all able to be there for each other through the good and the bad. I’m happy they have us to lean on. If anything, the good thing that came out of this show was that we are family and have a great bond.

The most recent episode we saw you blow up on Angelina. Was that building up inside you?
Me and Angelina actually have a really good friendship. We get along really well. I was seven months pregnant. I was on a 15-hour car ride. Then they were going to stick me in a cabin not close to theirs. I was ready to go to sleep. I was seven months pregnant going camping. Let’s be real. I was exhausted, and she hit the wrong button. Instead of being like everybody else who just wanted to figure it out, she was concerned with sleeping on the floor. I kept telling her I wasn’t going to let her sleep on the floor. She continued. Then my pregnancy ass was over it. 

How has it been having Angelina in the group as a regular?
I didn’t get to know her that well back then. I came after her, but it really doesn’t bother me. She is a wild card. I think she brings a little electricity to the group. She makes me laugh. 

How has life changed for you being a mom now? What have you learned about motherhood from Jenni [“JWoww” Farley] and Nicole [“Snooki” Polizzi]?
They told me when the baby is sleeping, definitely do your thing around the house, even if it’s vacuum because they have to get used to noise. I did that, and he’ll sleep through anything, which is great. I just love being a mom. I feel like I was born to be a mom. He is my everything. Honestly, I don’t remember my life before him. He is literally my everything. I just love him so much. 

On Instagram you’ve been posting photos of yourself post-pregnancy. Body positivity is such a hot topic right now. How important is it to set an example for others through your own demonstration?
I’m not really trying to show people I’ve lost weight or anything by posting myself. For me, I fluctuate. I’m always with the baby, and at this point, he is crawling and doing his thing. Sometimes I forget to eat and am just running around so much that I think that’s my exercise.

I’m not doing anything too crazy. I walk with him outside, but I tell my fans that message me, “Listen, I don’t want you getting the wrong impression of me. I’m literally just living my life. It’s not like I’m this crazy gym person because I’m not.” Once I lost the weight, now I just watch what I eat. I don’t eat junk all the time, but besides that, I’m not really doing anything too crazy. I’m just posting myself with my baby or my husband. It’s not like I’m trying to be like, “Look at me, I lost weight.” 

Do you have plans to have a second child or is one enough?
I definitely want to have more kids. Me and my husband just bought a bigger house so we can eventually grow the family. Right now, I want to focus on CJ. So, we were thinking maybe when he is around two or one-and-a-half we’ll start trying again. 

What can fans expect in future episodes this season?
I had a good time, but I was super pregnant. I just wanted to be there for Mike and be with my roomies. You’re going to see Mike’s bachelor party and me helping with that, but I didn’t like camping. I wasn’t having the best time. It’s not really my thing. I was uncomfortable and super pregnant and over it. We camped once before, and I was drunk. This time I was sober and seven-and-a-half months pregnant, so it was a little different. 

Do we get to CJ on the show?
You’re going to definitely see CJ in the future. I’m not sure if it’s going to be this season, but we are still filming, and CJ will be part of it. 

Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, Thursdays, 8/7c, MTV